Suzy Eddie Izzard has reflected on her friendship with the late Paul O’Grady and praised his ‘honesty’ in a world full of ‘lies.’
The acclaimed presenter and drag performer died this week at the age of 67, devastating fans across the nation.
Tributes poured out for the star, with everyone from the public to his former colleagues recalling their love for the trailblazer, who helped introduce drag to the mainstream.
Now comedian and aspiring MP Izzard, who is trans, has showered praise on the icon as the nation continues to mourn him.
Appearing on The One Show, Izzard was asked about her friendship with O’Grady and what he meant to her.
She described him as ‘another LGBTQ person whose work was about being funny,’ and whether he was ‘playing Lily Savage’ as a character and then’ or ‘being himself,’ he ‘had the same attitude.’
‘He just had his career, lived his life, did charity work and great work with pets, that’s a wonderful thing that he did. And his sexuality sort of had nothing to do with it – he simply was that person, and he was open and honest about it.’
Izzard added that this was a major positive for her, explaining: ‘In this world of people deciding to lie left right and centre, it’s really nice when people come out open and honest.
‘I always say, “you have one life, live it well” – and he did.’
O’Grady’s death was announced on Wednesday by his husband Andre Portasio, who said he had died suddenly but ‘peacefully’ on Tuesday night.
Later in the week, Portasio took to Instagram to thank fans for their support and shared a photograph of him and his late husband on holiday, revealing it was the last photo they ever took together.
He wrote: ‘In time I hope to write to everyone individually and thank you for all posts, messages, phone calls, emails, cards and flowers of support. I much appreciate you all taking the time to reach out. I’m so very touched and I’m sure Paul would be too!’
Hours earlier, O’Grady’s close friend Linda Thorson revealed the star died in his own bed with his husband next to him.
In the entertainment world, Carol Vorderman and Lorraine Kelly were among the first to pay their respects, while the royal family also shared their condolences.
The One Show airs weekdays from 7pm on BBC One.
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